After the government's lockdown news on the 23rd March, and as the lockdown took hold, Stacey, owner at Ray's Italian Kitchen in Milford on Sea set about trying to find ways to save her business.
Ray's Italian Kitchen opened in December 2018 in memory of her father, Ray, who was one of her greatest supporters. Stacey said: "I have been a restaurateur in the New Forest for many years, but this place is a personal endeavour for me and something I am extremely proud of. The support from my team and customers over the last 16 months has been incredible."
As a first step to save her business she launched a takeaway service, cooking the menu herself with her partner Paul, doing the deliveries. At the same time she has had to balance the home schooling for her son, a tough ask as I am sure any parents with young children will appreciate.
Sadly, this would not be enough, so she launched a Crowdfunder page so that her customers who wanted to, could make a donation, or buy a gift voucher, to help Ray's survive the lockdown and beyond.
The Local Enterprise Partnership offered a grant to match fund all the money raised by this appeal.
Astonishingly, Stacey's customers have been fabulously generous, and with three days to go she has raised £9,320 from loyal supporters in the village and beyond.
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Even in these tough times Stacey has thought of others, and every week she does a special menu for the vulnerable in the village where she delivers a tasty two course hot meal for £10 to over 70 elderly people in the village.
Naturally, Stacey is very thankful to everyone who has supported her and sends her warmest thanks from their support and kindness, and also says; "I am looking forward to seeing you all again in sunnier times."
If you would like to make a donation, or buy a voucher before the fundraiser ends; please click here.
To see Ray's full Take Away/Delivery Menu: please click here.